Esther 2 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Esther Is Made Queen
2 Later, when King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] was not so angry, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and his ·order [decree; edict] about her. 2 Then the king’s personal ·servants [attendants] suggested, “Let a search be made for ·beautiful young girls [L young women, virgins, good of form] for the king. 3 Let the king choose ·supervisors [commissioners] in every ·state [province] of his kingdom to bring ·beautiful young girls [L young women, virgins, good of form] to the ·palace [citadel; fortress; 1:2] at Susa. They should be taken to the ·women’s quarters [harem; L house of the women] and put under the ·care [custody; authority] of Hegai, the king’s eunuch in charge of the ·women [harem]. And let ·beauty treatments [cosmetics; L ointments] be given to them. 4 Then let the ·girl [young woman] who ·most pleases [L is good in the eyes of] the king become queen in place of Vashti.” The king ·liked [was pleased/delighted by] this idea, so he did as they said.
5 Now there was a Jew in the ·palace [citadel; fortress; 1:2] of Susa whose name was Mordecai son of Jair. Jair was the son of Shimei, the son of Kish [C these are relatives of Saul, showing that Mordecai was his descendant; 1 Sam. 9:1–3; 2 Sam. 16:5]. Mordecai was from the tribe of Benjamin, 6 which had been taken ·captive [into exile] from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. They were part of the group taken into ·captivity [exile] with Jehoiachin king of Judah [C 597 bc; 2 Kin. 24:8–17]. 7 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, who had no father or mother, so Mordecai ·took care of her [was her guardian; brought her up]. Hadassah was also called Esther, and she ·had a very pretty figure and face [L was beautiful of form]. Mordecai had ·adopted [raised; taken] her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.
8 When the king’s command and ·order [decree; edict] had been ·heard [proclaimed], many ·girls [young women] had been brought to the ·palace [citadel; fortress; 1:2] in Susa and put under the ·care [custody; authority] of Hegai. Esther was also taken to the king’s ·palace [L house] and put under the ·care [custody; authority] of Hegai, who was in charge of the women. 9 Esther ·pleased [impressed; L was good in his eyes] Hegai, and ·he liked her [L found favor with him]. So Hegai quickly began giving Esther her ·beauty treatments [cosmetics; L ointments] and special food. He gave her seven ·servant girls [maids; attendants] chosen from the king’s ·palace [L house]. Then he ·moved [transferred] her and her ·seven servant girls [maids; attendants] to the best part of the ·women’s quarters [harem; L house of the women].
10 Esther did not tell anyone about her ·family [people; nationality] or ·who her people were [her kindred/lineage], because Mordecai had ·told [instructed] her not to. 11 Every day Mordecai walked back and forth ·near [in front of] the courtyard ·where the king’s women lived [of the harem] to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.
12 Before a girl could take her turn ·with [to go to] King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus], she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments ·that were ordered [prescribed; required] for the women. For six months she was treated with oil ·and [or of] myrrh and for six months with ·perfumes [spices] and ·cosmetics [ointments]. 13 Then she ·was ready to go [would go in this way] to the king. Anything she ·asked for [desired] was given to her to take with her from the ·women’s quarters [harem; L house of the women] to the king’s ·palace [L house]. 14 In the evening she would go to the king’s ·palace [L house], and in the morning she would return ·to another part of the [or to a second; or again to the] ·women’s quarters [harem; L house of the women]. There she would be placed under the ·care [custody; authority] of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch in charge of the ·slave women [concubines; C secondary wives]. The girl would not go back to the king again unless he was pleased with her and ·asked for [summoned; requested] her by name.
15 The ·time [L turn] came for Esther daughter of Abihail, Mordecai’s uncle [C Esther was Mordecai’s younger cousin, v. 7], who had been raised [taken] by Mordecai as his own daughter, to go to the king. She asked for only what Hegai ·suggested [advised; recommended] she should take. (Hegai was the king’s eunuch who ·was in charge of [supervised] the women.) Everyone who saw Esther ·liked [favored] her. 16 So Esther was taken to King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] in the royal ·palace [L house] in the tenth month [C early winter], the month of Tebeth, during ·Xerxes’ [L Ahasuerus’s] seventh year ·as king [of his reign].
17 And the king ·was pleased with [loved] Esther more than with any of the other ·virgins [young women]. He liked her more than any of the ·others [other virgins], so he put a royal crown on her head and ·made [proclaimed; declared] her queen in place of Vashti. 18 Then the king gave a great banquet for Esther and invited all his ·important men [nobles; officials] and ·royal officers [ministers; servants]. He announced a holiday for all the ·empire [L provinces] and ·had the government give away gifts [gave gifts with royal liberality/generosity].
Mordecai Discovers an Evil Plan
19 Now Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate [C an indication he was likely a government official] when the girls were ·gathered the second time [or transferred to the second harem; or gathered again]. 20 Esther still had not told anyone about ·who her people were [her kindred/lineage] or her ·family [people; nationality], just as Mordecai had ·commanded [instructed] her. She ·obeyed Mordecai [followed Mordecai’s instructions] just as she had done when ·she was under his care [he was raising her].
21 Now Bigthana and Teresh were two of the king’s eunuchs who guarded the ·doorway [entrance; L threshold]. While Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, they became angry and ·began to make plans [plotted; conspired] to ·kill [assassinate; L send a hand against] King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus]. 22 But Mordecai found out about their ·plans [plot] and told Queen Esther. Then Esther told the king ·how Mordecai had discovered the evil plan [L in Mordecai’s name]. 23 When the report was investigated, it was found to be ·true [so], and ·the two officers who had planned to kill the king [L they both] were ·hanged [impaled; C on a stake or sharpened pole, a common form of execution]. All this was written down in the ·daily court record [book of the annals/chronicles] in the king’s presence.
Esther 2 New International Version (NIV)
Esther Made Queen
2 Later when King Xerxes’ fury had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her. 2 Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. 3 Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them. 4 Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.
5 Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, 6 who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin[a] king of Judah. 7 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.
8 When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. 9 She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.
10 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. 11 Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.
12 Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. 13 And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.
15 When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. 16 She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 And the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.
Mordecai Uncovers a Conspiracy
19 When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. 20 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.
21 During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana[b] and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. 22 But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai. 23 And when the report was investigated and found to be true, the two officials were impaled on poles. All this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king.